Energy access is crucial for improving the quality of life for India’s citizens and their economic conditions, and 24/7 energy availability remains a priority for the Indian government. Off-grid, clean energy technologies, combined with innovative financing models, market-based solutions, and policy alignment, have tremendous potential to become a transformative agent of economic opportunity and rural development.
In 2013, the Governments of the Republic of India and the United States of America launched Promoting Energy Access through Clean Energy (PEACE) as a new track under the U.S.-India Partnership to Advance Clean Energy (PACE), alongside the existing research (PACE-R) and deployment (PACE-D) tracks. PEACE aims to harness commercial enterprise to bring clean energy to individuals and communities unserved and underserved by the electricity grid.
In June 2015, the Governments of the Republic of India (through the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy) and the United States of America (through the U.S. Embassy) jointly established the PACEsetter Fund, an INR 50 crore (USD 7.9 million). The bi-national Indo-US Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF) is the administrator of the Fund.
The objectives of the PACEsetter Fund is to support the PEACE initiative by providing early-stage grant funding to accelerate the commercialization of innovative off-grid clean energy products, systems, and business models. The Fund's main purpose is to improve the viability of off-grid renewable energy businesses that sell small scale (under 1 megawatt) clean energy systems to individuals and communities without access to grid connected power or with limited/intermittent access (less than 8 hours per day).
The Fund awards grants for the following purposes:
Direct support of innovative technology, business models, and programs including but not limited to rural energy services companies (full scale integrated operators); rural distribution companies/franchisees; operations/maintenance companies; technology implementers/ system integrators; and enterprises;
Product development, studies, research, capacity building and technical assistance, as long as this support will provide clearly significant support to companies and NGOs that set small-scale (under 1MW) clean energy systems to individuals and communities with none or limited access to grid-connected power; and
Projects on general public awareness, stand-alone seminars and workshops, research and development projects without a clear path towards implementation, will not be considered for funding through the PACEsetter Fund.
List of Projects under PACEsetter First Funding Round
Lead Partner/Co-Partner (if any)
High rate biomethanation of organic waste for generation of power for off-grid applications
Unlocking clean home energy for the base of the pyramid: developing and piloting the world’s first Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) integrated home energy system in India
BioLite, New York
Waste to energy innovation at small-scale
Grassroots Energy Inc., Massachusetts (Lead Partner) and SEWA Bharat, New Delhi (Partnering Team)
Study of solar pumps program effectiveness and proposal for deployment of remote performance monitoring & outsourced service management of solar pumps and off-grid solar PV plants through an online portal with pilot demonstration projects in Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh states in India
Shri Shakti Alternative Energy Limited, Hyderabad
Creation of an innovative market maker debt provider to catalyze growth of market players in Decentralized Renewable Energy (DRE) based energy access projects
cKers Finance Private Limited (cKers), New Delhi
Powering agriculture: Community based solar pumps
Environment Conservation Society (Switch ON), Kolkata
Microgrid remote monitoring & control
Customized Energy Solutions India Pvt. Ltd., Pune
Development of user-friendly gasifier and engine system for irrigation
Optima Heat Technologies, Madurai
Solar PV micro grids for remote hamlet electrification
Mera Gao Micro Grid Power Pvt Ltd, Lucknow
List of Projects under PACEsetter Second Funding Round
Lead Partner/Co-Partner (if any)
Solar dryer based self-employment model for rural tribal communities, women and differently-abled persons
The Energy & Resources Institute (TERI), New Delhi (Lead Partner) and Society for Energy, Environment and Development (SEED), Hyderabad (Partnering Team)
Rural enterprise model for branded packaged diced and dehydrated vegetables and other dried products using hybrid biomass and solar energy
Society for Economic and Social Studies, New Delhi
Development of Unglazed Transpired Solar Air Dryer (UTSAD) with Energy Management System
Raghavendra Suntech Systems Pvt Ltd (RSSPL), Bengaluru
Intelligent solar charge controller for increasing energy output & life cycle batteries and revival of under-performing old SPV & their batteries